"Por que eu não aprendo Inglês?"


Esse post foi pensado depois de responder inúmeras perguntas de alunos, ex-alunos ou mesmo iniciantes que se depararam com a dificuldade de aprender uma língua estrangeira. Não sei se as resposta irão agradar a maioria, mas...

1 - Por que eu não aprendo Inglês?

Porque você não quer. Simples assim.

O Inglês é uma das línguas mais fáceis de se aprender por não ser complicada, ser pobre estruturalmente falando e pelo fato dos próprios falantes adotarem uma linguagem muito básica para se comunicar que não exige tanto assim.

Porém, como qualquer outra coisa que você faz na vida, requer dedicação. E não me venha com "Mas eu faço todos os trabalhos de casa, sou participativo no curso...". Não me venha com essa de que você ainda acha que o curso de Inglês, onde você estuda menos de 5 horas por semana, vai ter ajudar a ter fluência?

Dedicação quer dizer fazer uso de material extra, de estudar por conta própria ainda que tenha o curso, de treinar com os amigos, de testar o que aprendeu fora de sala de aula... E, 99% dos alunos não faz isso.  Se pergunte: "Eu falo Inglês com meus colegas de classe fora da sala de aula?". "Eu me reúno com eles pra ver um filme ou video em Inglês e tentar conversar sobre isso aplicando o que eu já aprendi?".

Nos cursos onde trabalhei os alunos adoravam o break time para ir até a cafeteria ou biblioteca para conversar e rir em Português. No que isso ajuda no aprendizado, de verdade, eu nunca soube.

2 - Qual o melhor curso de Inglês?

Não existe essa de melhor curso de Inglês. Todos eles têm vantagens e desvantagens. A maior parte, o mesmo problema: Excesso de gramática e pouco Inglês da vida real.

Por isso indico a todos que fazem curso que não confiem somente na didática da instituição, mas que procure por fora algo que nunca será ensinado em sala de aula. Gírias, por exemplo, eu acho essencial, pois em uma conversa com um nativo ele vai vir com muitas delas e você corre o risco de ficar boiando. Um amigo meu, aqui em NYC, estava numa festa e perguntaram pra ele: "Do you party?". Como ele relacionou party a festa, respondeu que sim sem imaginar que estavam na verdade perguntando se ele usava drogas. Uma gíria comum.

Palavrões e xingamentos também deveriam ser ensinados. Não que você vá sair ofendendo todo mundo depois de aprender tal vocabulário, mas aprende-lo vai te ajudar a se defender no caso de alguém usa-lo contra você.

3 - Mas  e se eu contratar um professor nativo?

Um erro muito comum: Achar que um Americano ou Britânico nativo será um excelente professor. Se você pensa assim, eu pergunto se você acredita que, por ser brasileiro, você seria capaz de ensinar Português para um estrangeiro. A resposta é um simples, porém sonoro, não.

A verdade é que muitos estrangeiros se oferecem para ensinar Inglês no Brasil para colocar a mão no seu dinheiro, pois muitos acham super vantagem pagar mais caro para ter um "professor" nativo. Antes de embarcar nessa onda, procure saber as qualificações profissionais desse indivíduo, onde se formou, onde ensinou antes, se tem experiência com alunos estrangeiros... Muitos nativos não tem paciência com alunos, pois lhes falta a empatia que há nos outros professores. Sendo nativo, ele não passou pelo processo de aprendizado dos outros e por isso não entende certas dificuldades do seu aprendizado. E muitas vezes não vão nem se importar.

4 - E quando o professor não sabe responder uma pergunta?

Eu sempre ouço dessas: "Mas o meu professor nem sabe como dizer 'Balaústre' em Inglês!"

Se ele for um bom professor ele vai pesquisar e te responder na próxima aula. Você está lidando com um ser humano, não com um dicionário ambulante. Portanto, se seu professor não souber responder algo e se propor a pesquisar pra/por você, aprecie sua sinceridade. Acredite, já vi gente inventando coisa só pra não parecer burro na frente do aluno. E convenhamos, ninguém sabe tudo. Se eu perguntar a muitos falantes de Português o que é um ósculo ou uma missiva, poucos saberão que são sinônimos de beijo e carta. E sim, é sua amada língua Portuguesa.

Se seu professor não souber responder algo, não pense que ele é menos preparado pra ensinar por isso.


Chapter 1 - Little Angels In The Night


Read beforehand:

___ CHAPTER 1 ___
Little Angels in the night
  
"...two people could be seen jumping from one building to another."
Art by Guillermo Costa

         Present days, New York City – Manhattan celebrated the New Year arrival with parties from the Financial District to the limits of Harlem. Around the world, this kind of celebration was typical, a way of saying goodbye to all the bad energy and welcome the good one. The streets were still full of people, who were trying to get home and lay in a warm soft bed that could spare them from the freezing wind and the ongoing flurry. Even with that terrible weather and the holiday, the rhythm in the city was constant and several shops worked 24/7.
In the Upper West Side area, two hours after Times Square’s fireworks, the neighborhood was already calm. The usual night owls were off the streets, watching TV and finishing their last cans of beer. However, on West 79th Street, two people could be seen jumping from one building to another. That wasn’t an optical illusion, though. Those youngsters, bundled up in warm black clothes, were really there. And from their looks, they seemed to be really exhausted. Their names: Victor Jones and Christine Khumalo.
         Victor and Christine were two non-typical eighteen-year-olds. While most people at their ages were concerned about parties, TV shows and celebrities, Victor and Christine were out in the streets trying to live through the day. They looked around, clearly worried. Central Park was just two blocks away, so, once they were there, it would be far easier to hide. Victor touched the leather bag he was carrying to make sure he still had the packet inside of it. He would protect that packet with his life.
         “Let’s have a break”, he said, taking a deep breath, “I think they’ve lost us.”
        Definitely he sounded like a leader. And, being chase in the middle of the night didn’t seem to be something uncommon to the black haired American young man. In fact, that seemed to be pretty ordinary.
         “What about taking the subway?”, Christine suggested, showing visible signs of tiredness.
        “That’s what they expected us to do. Most of them have seen our faces and they must’ve put their people at the stations. We can’t be followed. This is not a risk we can take right now. We don’t know who they are under those hoods. And we saw them killing a man some minutes ago.”
      Christine nodded. Too many sleepless nights were making her listen more to her body than her reasoning. She was a beautiful black girl, with pretty honey-colored eyes and a kind of undeniable determination most of the South African girls, like her, had.
         “I think it’s better to call Selina, Victor. We’ll need help.”
         “We won’t, Christine. They have lost us. Trust me.”
         It was hard for the girl to trust him when she was seeing a group of seven people on the roof of the building right next to the one where they were.
As if ghosts risen from their tombs, they appeared wearing burnt sienna-colored tunics with their faces hidden by hoods. Ceremonial vestments, both of them knew that. They also knew they were supposed to wear those clothes when on duty. And for those people duty hardly ever meant anything else if not killing.
“Let’s split”, said Victor with his black eyes laid on the hooded men.
“Of course not! We can’t be by ourselves with these people... It’s dange...”
“It’s not a suggestion, Christine!”, he didn’t enjoy his own tone, “You need to attract them far from here. I’m going to take the fire escape. After that, we’ll meet at the Natural History Museum, right? Can you do that?”
“Yes.”
“And, Christine...”
“What?”
“Please, be careful.”
She smiled.
“Ok.”
He smiled back and hid himself behind a pile of bricks. Then Christine got next to the eaves of the building so that the Hooded People could see her.
“There is one of them!’, shouted the leader pointing at her.
The young girl drew back and took some distance. She really enjoyed jumping and had always done that with perfection, but not when she was so tired. Though, she believed the objective of her efforts worth each sacrifice she could do.
With a feline style, Christine ran to jump across the night and got safely on the other building. Before starting to run over, she looked behind. Victor was right; the Hooded were trying hard to follow her.

Victor watched them leaving. He had enough confidence in his friend to know that she would be fine. He was nervous, though. And he didn’t like to feel like that.
Apprehensively, he left his hideout and found out a little later that he wasn’t there alone. One of the Hooded was waiting for him.
“Victor Jones”, said the Hooded Man, sarcastically, “Have you noticed something different in the night tonight? Lucifer is between us.”
“He’s always around!”
“You’re amazing, you know? Most of us, including me, believed that you were going to take your father’s footsteps. However, instead, what did you do? You joined this interesting ‘little club’ which insists on facing our people.”
“Sooner than you expect your people will get what they deserve. It includes my father.”
“It wasn’t very wise of you intercepting a piece we’ve been searching for centuries. Since the Crusades our society has been looking for it. Far too long, you can’t even imagine, can you? And you also can’t imagine how many codes we had to crack.”
“Actually, I do. And also how many people you had to kill.”
“All is fair in love and war. Although I don’t really care about love. What you are carrying now is unique and belongs to us. For this reason I’ll give you a chance, also unique, to give me back this artifact and escape alive.”
“Sorry, but I don’t think I will do it.”
“I don’t like being opposed, my dear”, he said walking towards him, “It really pisses me off.”
When the man put the hands inside his vestment, Victor slipped to the ground and overthrew him with a sweep kick. Before the man could react, he stood up quickly and ran for the fire escape in the very moment two other Hooded People were getting to the roof.

Christine was an accomplished jumper, but, even though being clumsy, the Hooded people, four of them, were able to follow her. When she got to the edge of the roof, she realized it would be impossible to get to the other building for it was a low-rise one. The fall would, at least, break her legs. She took a deep breath and looked at her chasers, analyzing her chances. It was not good for a tired girl to try to fight four men. She didn’t have any choice though. She could be almost out of energy but they would have to struggle if they wanted to get her.
“C’mon... I am waiting for you. I won’t be killed by fanatic’s hands.”
The cruel cold wind attacked her, but only her face was hurting. The jacket she wore was thermal and protected her from the weather. She reached her communicator, trying not to call the attention to it. It was a very small device, placed in her right ear, which enabled her to voice communicate with any of her colleagues at any moment. Thanks to William Mason, the genius in the group, as she called him, the device was able to use Internet from any area to connect them and it would never stop working since it used Liquid Metal Batteries charged by sunlight.  They called it ‘Halo’. All she had to do was gently touch it with her finger and then someone would know they needed help.
“You won’t be needing it”, said one of the Hooded, “give it to me”
 “You don’t scare me!”, she shouted.
“Shut up!”, he got her Halo and stepped on it with violence, crushing the device into pieces, “How come you and your little friend interrupt our business? You know we work for the supreme ruler of this world. You should show some respect”
“I don’t respect creatures which don’t show their faces.”
“You should, young girl. You should. Or you will fear him.”
“I am being taught not to fear your supreme ruler. Nor respect him. It must be faced and defeated.”
“You can’t defeat him.”
“Who said that?”
“Nostradamus.”
“The Satanist who gave his soul in exchange for the ‘view of the future’ ...  You are too confident on doubtful stories. There’s nothing more uncertain than the future.”
“We know who to trust.”
“Yes, I know that. You are one of the Order of Nostradamus’ people, so you have to believe him. What did he say about tonight?”
“He didn’t focus the small facts. Only the important ones. For his contributions in this world he will take a place of honor beside our Lord. A place that one day we’ll take as well.”
“I don’t know anything about it, but whatever your plans are, I fear they’re going to fail. About this, I’m sure.”
“You oughtn’t be so sure. Now, give us the artifact!”
“Oh, yeah, the artifact... Well, am I carrying something?”
“You don’t give us any choice”, said the other, “We’ll have to kill you.”
“I was hoping you would say that.”
As fast as she could think, Christine saw herself surrounded by them. She saw that before, that modus operandi. They would go around their victims, no room for them to fight or run, and then they would kill them. Just like that, fast and clean. However, Christine was never a victim and wisely she took the time they talked to recover and be ready for the action. Even though she was still tired, she knew that, besides being older, they were tired as well. That was not an easy night for both parties.
One of them attacked. In a fast movement, Christine held his arm and punched him in the stomach, taking his breath away. The others took three silver daggers from the vestments and walked calmly toward her. The girl stepped back, starting to get nervous. Exhausted as she was, she would be an easy target if she tried to face them. However, before she could think over that, the defeated Hooded man spoke with an unnatural voice, which did not belong to him:
“Let this girl be! The girl’s just a distraction while the boy is running with the artifact. Go after him! Now!”
Christine was ignored by them while they helped the man to stand and, not giving even a gaze at her, they walked over the roof and jumped in the night, being led to the ground by some dark mist.
“They’re going after Victor…”, she muttered.
Taking a deep breath she ran and jumped back to the other building. He couldn’t stay by himself.

Victor ran the fire escape, which ended in a dark and dirty alley. Walking fast, always looking around, he didn’t notice a light brown-haired man, young like him, coming from behind a trash container, looking distracted. They collided with each other, falling straight to the ground.
“Damn it!”, Victor yelled, “Don’t you look where you’re going?”
“And why didn’t you look, Quickie?”
There was noise on the stairs above them. Three angry Hooded were going down.
“Wow”, said the other full of irony, “You must have done something good to these guys. What was it? Robbery?”
“Do I look like your kind?”, Victor said more to catch the boy’s attention, while he was throwing the packet under the container, than to be nice.
“What kind?”, he faked a smile, taking a discrete look at Victor’s moves, “The good-looking ones?”
“No. Burglars.”
“Oh, it’s not polite to offend strangers”, he showed his hand, “I’m Andy.”
“Charmed”, he replied with a true scorn and stood up as fast as he could.
He needed to take those Hooded people far from that alley, before they realized the artifact was not in his hands anymore. So he ran again, followed by two of his chasers. The third one helped Andy to stand.
“What about you?”, he asked emotionless, “Who are you?”
“Me?”, Andy sounded dissolute, “I just realize I don’t know. I think I have that Alzheimer’s disease or whatever.”
“I’m not known for my patience, boy. Are you one of them? An Angel?”
“Do I look like one?”
“Don’t poke fun at me. Where’s the artifact?”
“Which artifact, Dude?”, so he looked to the trash container and realized what was happening, “So was it? Was I right? He took something precious from you.”
“Pretty precious, boy. It is worth more than your life.”
“So I believe.”, he said pointing at somewhere on the Hooded’s back, “And is that guy one of them?”
“Who?”
When he looked back and realized he had been deceived, he tried to get something from his vestments. Andy, though, was faster and disarmed him with a roundhouse kick followed by a punch, which knocked the man out.
Idiot!”
Art by Guillermo Costa
As fast as he could, he took the packet under the trash can. It was heavy, he noticed. He untied the golden cord and, while doing this, he felt that his hair was rising. Something shone from inside the packet, coming from an odd golden cross that seemed to have its own light.
Holy fu...! What’s this?”
The cross seemed to be from the Celtic people, made by a skillful artisan. There were inscriptions written in some unknown language and the top of the artifact seemed in flames, which burnt the object from top to bottom. However, it was not the weirdest thing about that cross. On the place the Catholic Church used to put an image representing a dead Jesus Christ, there was a skeleton, wearing a thorn crown and holding an evil expression on the face. Andy trembled, a little bit scared.
“This may worth a money river.”
“And it does”, said a strong female voice.
            Christine was in front of him with a serious face.
            “And you must be the Angel, I presume.”
            “Right”, she was still serious, “Give me this artifact.”
            “Why should I?”
            “Because it doesn’t belong to you.”
            “Nor to you.”
          Christine observed him from his head down to his toes. He didn’t look like someone the Order would recruit to join their society. He was just an ordinary boy, wearing ordinary clothes, with ordinary hair and eyes. His spoken English was heavy, full of a foreign accent and grammar mistakes, and he wore two little metal rings on his left ear as well as a natural short beard. He was just any street guy, that’s what she thought, and he was not a real menace.
          “Don’t create problems for me, boy. Please.”
        “I’m not looking for troubles”, he was smiling, “But, may I tell you something? I can see Money here. And loads of it. Because of that I wanna, at least, the half.”
          “I’m not trying to get any money from it.”
          “What a shame. I am.”
          Christine stepped forward, closing her fists, threatening. 
         “I don’t want to take this from you by force, boy.”
         “Andy. My name’s Andy.”
         “Whatever. You have a funny accent. Are you from Brazil?”
         “Bull’s eye!”
        “Well, Brazilian guy, before you go back to Buenos Aires to dance some salsa, I want you to know that I’m South African. I grew in the Savannah and I’ve learned things from the wild men that even the KGB would think twice before making use of it. If you don’t want to try this, I suggest…”
         “Sorry, ma’am, but you speak too fast. I can’t understand a word you’ve…”
         “You understood me quite well.”
          He smiled again.
         “Are you threatening me?”
         “Not yet. Just warning.”
        “I’m shaking in my boots, you know?”, he showed an even bigger smile and shook the cross, “Do you want this? Come and get it.”
         “Oh, no. And now this!”
        Andy ran towards the brick wall. Christine was furious enough to think of something and followed him, but the boy used the wall as a support and made a spectacular backwards somersault, all over her, and, with the same talent, he hit a powerful kick right on her face.
        “Hooray!!!”, he shouted still smiling, “I reckon the wild men are disappointed with you. And so are your teachers. Buenos Aires is in Argentina and Brazil is most famous for the samba, not for the salsa. Why don’t you get back to Africa to live with the monkeys? They must know Geography as much as you do. Or more! Maybe they teach you something! Oh, and sorry for hitting you on your cute little face. That wasn’t my intention.”
       Christine just felt the hit so bad because she was already very tired. Leaning on the wall, a little bit dizzy, she saw Andy running up the fire escape on a surprising speed.
       “Please... No....”
       Taking all her strength, she got up and went upstairs as fast as her legs allowed her to. However, there was nothing on the roof but the night’s emptiness. He was gone. She still kept looking around for a few minutes just to be certain that, whoever he was,  the boy had faded away taking the artifact with him.
        “Damn it”, she shouted, “I don’t believe that!”

          Victor was running, trying to figure out where to go, but he was already out of breath. His lungs were burning when he stopped in the middle of the street trying to get his breath again. His face was wet with sweat and his body was asking him to stop because it had enough.
         Then they appeared: Twelve hooded men coming from all directions, threatening.
         Victor even intended to run, but he was violently pushed on the street.
        “You shouldn’t have used all your little toys, my boy”, one of them said with a hint of irony, “Now, how are you going to face us?”
         “I d-don’t know...”
         “You won’t need to do this if you give us back the artifact.”
         “Take a look”, he opened his arms, “It’s not with me.”
         “And where is it?”
         “It fell while I was running...”
         “Are you sure about that?”
         “Y-yes...”
        “So”, he took a gun from his vestment, “Start praying, little angel.”
       The gun was pointed at Victor’s head and cocked. Victor closed his eyes, waiting for the shot. And the silence before it was terrible.
       “That’s so unfair, boys”, a girlie voice full of French accent broke the silence, “Twelve of you against one little boy.”
        Everybody, including Victor, turned their faces to that voice, whose owner was the most beautiful girl they ever saw.  The stranger was a pretty blond young lady with radiant blue eyes and a face of what could be a real angel. She was wearing a gray overcoat, black boots and holding a whip with her delicate hand.
        “Who the hell are you?!”, one of them asked her after the initial surprise.
        “Who do I seem to be?”
        “Forget it!”, the one with the gun pointed at Victor’s head shouted, “She is one of the Angels!”
        “I wish, but she’s not”, Victor said, mesmerized.
        “Doesn’t matter. Kill her too!”
        The girl then let the overcoat slip off of her body, revealing the long-sleeved black leotards she was wearing, and hit the ground with her whip.
        “Kill me? Oh, I’d love to see you try.”
        One of the Hooded came closer, holding a gun.
        “Throw the whip, little girl.”
        She saw the gun in his hand and started to weep.
        “Sorry”, she said handing the whip over, “I shouldn’t have entered in someone else’s fight.”
        “Youre totally right.”
       However, when he held the whip’s cape, she pulled it back suddenly and hit a strong punch on his nose. Then she turned and threw him against two others who were getting closer.
        “Calm down, boys! Take it easy. I’m just a lady.”
        So there was a shot. The girl threw herself onto ground and narrowly escaped from being killed. She then overthrew the Hooded and held his gun, pointing it at the one threatening Victor.
        “Drop your gun, man”, she said, very sweet.
        “Well, let’s see who has the faster shot”, he replied, “I don’t mind dying for my cause.”
        “Are you a freaking kind of terrorist?”
       One of the Hooded came quiet from behind the girl and hit her in the head, making the gun fall from her hand.
        “No!”, Victor screamed. He had got his strength back.
        Moving fast, he stood up and punched his foe, breaking his arm as well while the girl punched the Hooded who had attacked her.
        “I’ll teach you guys how to treat a woman.”
       She took back her whip and, with a ballerina’s grace, as if she danced a number written especially for her, the girl disarmed and knocked all the Hooded out. She had loads of style. She could punch a guy on the face or kick another one on his parts and they would love her anyway. Victor just couldn’t stop looking at her, how amazing she was. Definitely, he was fascinated with that girl who just saved his life.
       “My God”, he said after she had finished, “Who are you?”
       “Does it matter?”
       “Of course it does. You’ve just saved my life remarkably...”
       “What have you done to these people?”, she asked, not a note of judgment in her voice.
       “Excuse me?”
      “For these men! When I punched one of them, I realized he could be my grandfather. Theyre not fighters.”
       “I know. They are fanatical religious. I stole something from them.”
       “Did you?”
       Unintentionally, he blushed.
      “Actually, the thing I got from them was supposed to be with me in the first place. But they got it from the man who was going to give it to me and…”
       “You are telling me more than I need to know.”
       “Ok…”, he smiled, embarrassed, and showed his hand “I am Victor Jones”
       “Alice Guiet”, she replied, taking his’.
       “Are you French?”
       “Why? Is that a crime?”
       “No, no. It is just because you have a beautiful accent.”
       She drew back her hand, blushed.
       “Well, Monsieur Jones, it seems that you’re safe now and I gotta go.”
       “Wait! How can I meet you again?”
        She smiled.
       “In your dreams, who knows... In the flesh, never.”
       “Never say never… Isn’t that what people say?”
       As a reply, she smiled as she wore her overcoat again and ran. Her pretty long blonde hair flying with the night wind while she disappeared around the corner. Victor was mesmerized; he just couldn’t stop thinking of her. He just realized the situation he was in when Christine put her hand on his shoulder, scaring him.
        “Victor...”
       “Christine”, he smiled, “let’s get the artifact and get away from here. Now I’m feeling everything is going to be all right.”
         “I’m sorry, Victor... We lost the cross.”
         “What do you mean? I hid it in an alley right next...”
         “I saw it! But I was not the only one.”
         “That guy!”
       “Him. I came back and saw the boy striking one of the Order’s members. So he took the artifact. Then I went to him, claiming the cross but... He is smarter than I thought. He’s gone.”
         “Wait a minute. You said you saw him attacking one of them?”
         “I did.”
         “So, what side is he?”
         “His own, I’m afraid. He’s only a street thief.”
         “That’s the problem. He can sell the cross for any money. Or, change it into drugs.”
         Christine sighed, unhappy.
         “What will Selina think about it?”

         Victor closed his eyes as if he could predict what the Angel’s mentor would say when they get back without the artifact.

NEXT SATURDAY: Chapter 2 - A brief origin of the facts

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Robin: Batman's Unforgettable Sidekick



I'm pretty sure when you think of Batman, you immediately picture him alongside his sidekick Robin. But, do you know how many people were entrusted the Robin position? Did you know girls were allowed to be a Robin? Is it true one of them died tragically? 

Here I have a list with the official Robins and a few curiosity about them:

___ Dick Grayson ___
Robin I / Nightwing / Batman
First appearance: Detective Comics 38 (April, 1940)


Dick Grayson, an orphan and acrobat, became Batman's first partner. Robin was created as a way to attract young readers to comic books. The strategy was so successful it led to the creation of other superheroes sidekicks, such as Aqualad, Speedy and Wonder Girl (Later, those characters would become the Teen Titans, a younger version of the Justice League). 

Dick is considered the best Robin according to the fans and the one Batman cares the most. In the very beginning, the relationship between Dick and Bruce was considered controversial and even homossexual. The controversy gained followers after the novel 'Seduction of the innocent' by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham was published and comic books became targets for censorship. To silence the rumors, DC created Batwoman and Bat-girl (Betty Kane, not Barbara Gordon) as love interests for Batman and Robin.

As he grows up, Dick decides to retire as Robin to dedicate himself to the leadership of the Teen Titans and takes his own superhero identity: Nightwing.


___ Jason Todd ___
Robin II / Red Hood
First appearance: Batman 357 (March, 1983)


Jason Todd suffered the hate of readers because he came straight after Dick in the role of Robin. The public was still coming to accept Dick was never going to be Batman's sidekick again. Jason was revamped and became a little popular, although his behavior and attitude problems proved he wasn't worth the Robin position. 

In a last attempt to test Jason's popularity, DC Comics editors created 'A Death in the Family' storyline where Batman's fans could call a 1-900 number to vote if Robin would die tragically of if he would survive after all. By a slim margin of votes it was decided Jason's fate as he is beaten up by the Joker and left to die on a warehouse explosion. Batman gets there too late to save Jason and his death haunts the Dark Knight for years to come.

Years later, due to an absurd editorial decision, Jason is brought back to life and becomes the new Red Hood. He was revived thanks to an event involving Superboy-Prime that changed many facts in the DC Universe. However, I think this decision was as stupid as Spider-man's 'One more day' saga that erases Peter and Mary Jane's wedding from continuity. 


___ Tim Drake ___
Robin III / Red Robin
First appearance: Batman 436 (August, 1989)


When I started reading comics, Tim was the Robin in action. For me, he was the best sidekick ever! Clever, good at fighting and with a family to care for, unlike the other two Robins. Tim Drake was also the most explored Robin and the only one to get a monthly title of his own.

Not to make the same mistake and bring a new Robin too soon, it took a while before DC decided it was time for Batman to have a new sidekick. Tim was introduced little by little as a boy who deducts Batman secret identity and decides to prove himself worthy of the Robin suit. Although Batman doesn't like the idea in the beginning, Tim becomes indispensable as a partner.

Before the relaunch of the DC titles, the New 52, Tim leaves Gotham for a while and becomes Red Robin, acting by himself while trying to find Bruce Wayne's whereabouts. After a while, however, Tim returns as the boy wonder.


___ Stephanie Brown ___
Spoiler / Robin IV / Batgirl
First appearance: Detective Comics 647 (August, 1992)



This lucky character, Stephanie Brown, is the daughter of the villain Cluemaster. She becomes the vigilant Spoiler to frustrate his father's plans and ends up helping Batman and Robin. Batman is not sure if she's ready to fight crime, but Stephanie doesn't really care and starts working by herself. For several times she teams up with Robin, who became a love interest for her.

When Tim leaves the Robin position, Stephanie convinces Batman that she is his best option as  a sidekick and becomes the new Robin. However, she dies in action a few issues later.

Spoiler is seen back in Gotham City and Tim thinks he's crazy. But, for his surprise, Stephanie was never dead. She was actually living in Africa with Dr. Leslie Tompkins, who faked her death for the girl to have a better life. For a short period of time, before DC's relaunch, Stephanie acted as Batgirl helped by original Batgirl Barbara Gordon. I call her a lucky b***h for she's the only one to be a vigilant, then a Robin, then a Batgirl. Cool, right?

___ Damian Wayne ___
Robin V
First appearance: Batman 655 (September, 2006)


Damian is the son of Bruce Wayne and Thalia Al Ghul. He just came to know his father when he was already a pre-adolescent and was raised to be a violent assassin in his grandfather's league. Fearing for his son's future, Thalia leaves Damian in Bruce's care. Father and son, however, don't enjoy each other's methods in the beginning. Simply because Batman doesn't kill and Damian was raised to do so.

After Bruce supposedly dies and Dick Grayson takes over the Batman cowl, Damian is chosen as the new Robin. When Bruce returns to his role as the protector of Gotham City he's happy to see Damian's changes and accepts his son as his sidekick.


___ Carrie Kelley ___
Robin in The Dark Knight Returns
First appearance: The Dark Knight returns 1 (February, 1986)


Although not a canonic storyline, 'The Dark Knight Returns' introduces the first girl to ever be a Robin. An ingenious decision by Frank Miller. In this alternate reality, Carrie is a 13-year-old girl who saves a tired and old Batman from a gang and manages to become his "last" sidekick.

Carrie is essencial in Batman's confrontation with the Joker and later on, as the series develops, she becomes a new vigilant known as Catgirl.